The upcoming season of British dating series Love Island will look very different from its previous seasons. Not only will our favorite Islanders be looking for love in a gorgeous sunny location in South Africa (instead of the standard Mallorca), season six will also be introducing a brand new host.
Caroline Flack has been an integral part of the the ITV2 series since its premiere back in 2015, but her time as the host of Love Island is up. The Brit was arrested and charged with assault by beating following a physical altercation with her boyfriend, tennis player Lewis Burton. Days after the news of her arrest broke, Flack stepped down from her position as host of Love Island, saying that she was doing so because she didn’t want to “detract attention from the upcoming series.”
In light of the switch-up, fans began speculating about who would take over for Flack under such short notice. Various British celebrities were tossed into the mix, including fellow presenter Maya Jama and Love Island season five alum Maura Higgins, but ITV had its own plans. Today, the network announced that Laura Whitmore would be stepping up to host the sixth season of the series.
Though she’s lesser known than many of the other personalities presumed to be vying for the position — and you would probably have killed to hear Love Island alum Higgins' expletive-ridden commentary on the Islanders — Whitmore does in fact have the resume to host the popular reality show. She's hosted on MTV Ireland, as well as I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! NOW (a companion series of the series of the same name), and in November, the 34-year-old became a fixed part of BBC's Radio 5 Live broadcast.
Whitmore also has Flack's blessing to replace her on the series. "I'm glad it's Laura," Flack said on her Instagram story upon hearing the news. "She loves the show as much as I do." The two women are co-workers and friends, so Whitmore likely turned to Flack for some tips on managing the chaos of the Islanders.
It's also possible that Whitmore's hosting gig is temporary. In their statement regarding Flack's arrest, ITV hinted that the door might still be open for her to return to the show in the future. "ITV has a long-standing relationship with Caroline and we understand and accept her decision," said the network. "We will remain in contact with her over the coming months about future series of Love Island."
With or without Flack, the show must go on. Love Island premieres on ITV2 on January 12, 2020.